Showing a further level of incompetence to an already grossly incompetent organization, the IESO (formerly the OPA or Ontario Power Authority) once again showed they have learned nothing from their previous mistakes: They again, without warning, closed the Ontario MicroFIT program from new applications. In doing so they, once again, put all the Ontario solar installers that were busy recruiting customers for the MicroFIT program in hot water.
I personally know several installers (and customers of ours) that had customers lined up to sign on the dotted line, who now can go back to the drawing board.
The IESO made the vague promise to re-open the MicroFIT program sometime in July. Of course, those long enough in this industry remember the OPA closing MicroFIT and continuing to say they would re-open in 6 weeks … for a whole year!
The reason the IESO gives, without further specification, is that widespread abuse was/is going on within the program, and they were going to put new rules in place. No details were provided. Personally the only abuse of the program I am aware of is by companies such as Grasshopper that lease roofs, pay “beer money” to the home owner, and rake in the MicroFIT profits. Make no mistake, this is abuse of the program in ways it was never intended to be used, but the irony is that Grasshopper has pretty well ceased recruiting new customers since the beginning of 2016 due to the low MicroFIT rates. There’s not enough profit in it for them.
Meanwhile, the whole solar industry is once again subject to the OPA/IESO’s collective punishment, putting the viability of this industry further at risk at a time when the going is tough to begin with. One has to wonder if the people at the IESO that are running this program are just THIS incompetent, this stupid, or they just don’t give a damn!
The Ontario FIT and MicroFIT programs could have been such a wonderful thing! Just look at Germany and how it was handled over there (of course, the IESO will show you beautiful slides of how great the Ontario program is and what marvelous goals it has achieved, glossing over the absolute ineptitude in management).
Well done IESO!